By Sam Stone

24th Jun, 2022 | 7:38am

Pundit: West Ham United must surround Declan Rice with quality of risk losing star man

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium

Frank McAvennie believes West Ham must start surrounding Declan Rice with quality players to really push David Moyes’ side to the next level, or risk losing their star man.

The Hammers have added Morocco international Nayef Aguerd to their ranks so far this summer with Alphonse Areola likely to join the 26-year-old at the London Stadium.

However, the Irons have failed to tie down Rice to a new long-term contract and McAvennie believes the club have to surround him with quality players to increase the chances of the England man staying at the club.

“I think the problem with West Ham is not only have they got to sign players but they’ve got to sign players who Declan Rice thinks they can challenge with,” he told West Ham Zone

“That’s the key, Rice is such a good player you need players round about him.

“He loves West Ham so if you buy players that are going to push them on then your star players will stay.

“If David Moyes talks to him and says they’re going to sign players that are going to push them on then he could stay.

“Getting Jarrod Bowen to stay as well will be key.

“The club need to bring in players to keep them, but they need to bring in quality.

“If they don’t bring in quality then Rice will want to leave the club.

“Moyes gets paid big bucks to bring in the right quality of player and make decisions like that.

“I am happy with who Moyes has gone out and got.

“I know there’s been new investment at West Ham so I am hoping that can be passed down the line to Moyes to let him go and buy quality players.

“West Ham need to continue from their good run in the Europa League, it’s what the supporters deserve.”

It seems Rice is unlikely to leave the club this summer with the 2022 World Cup on the horizon and a high enough bid unlikely to come in for the 23-year-old.

However, next summer could well be the time when speculation over the West Ham man’s future really heats up.